Fungalpedia – Note 77 Mycoprotein



Citation when using this entryNiranjan et al., in prep – Fungalpedia, more than 300 beneficial uses of fungi. Mycosphere.

Mycoprotein has been produced since the 1960s from Fusarium venenatum and has been marketed under the trade name Quorn in several countries (Finnigan et al. 2019Derbyshire 2022). Mycoprotein is a whole-food protein with high fiber, rich in essential amino acids, vitamins, beta-glucan and micronutrients and these are listed in Table 1 (Finnigan et al. 2019). It is also low in calories, saturated fatty acids, sodium and cholesterol (Souza Filho et al. 2019). Mycoproteins differ from single cell proteins in that filamentous hyphae are used as proteins rather than single cells (BiocyclopediaFellows 2009). There are many fungi capable of producing single cell proteins (Amara & Ei-Baky 2023) and mycoproteins (Landeta-Salgado et al. 2021). Marine and terrestrial mycoprotein producing fungi are listed in Table 2. Mycoproteins are not only used for consumption by humans, but can also be an edible protein in animal feed produced from Paecilomyces variotii (Amara & Ei-Baky 2023). Industrially, mycoproteins are produced by airlift fermentation with the addition of glucose, other nutrient-rich substrates, and inocula (Derbyshire & Delange 2021). After fermentation is complete, the mycelia is collected and then ribonucleic acids are degraded by heating. Further, steaming, chilling and freezing and carried out to enhance the meat-like texture. Depending on the diet, the product is combined with spices, egg albumin or gluten (Derbyshire & Delange 2021).

Several companies such as MyForest Foods, Mycorena, Eternal and Better Meat Co. have been producing mycoproteins in different brand names such as Quorn, Mycolein, Myprotein, Promyc and fungal mediated proteins such as Lifeway Kefir, Shirakiku (miso) and tempeh ( & Ei-Baky 2023). Products are available in supermarkets in various forms, such as burgers, cutlets, ice creams, MyBacon, patties, protein cheese, sausages and strips (Souza Filho et al. 2019

Mycoprotein and its health benefits (Fig. 2) were reviewed by Derbyshire (2022), using data from controlled trials, clinical trials, interventions and observational studies. Mycoprotein showed health benefits in different age populations. It helps young people in good muscle growth and regulates LDL (low-density lipoprotein), insulin and blood. glucose levels (Derbyshire 2022). In healthy adults, mycoprotein intake results in a high dietary quality score, and lower glycemic and body mass index (Derbyshire 2022). It is also a healthy dietary supplement for older people due to its high protein and fiber content and muscle maintenance (Derbyshire 2022). Mycoprotein reduces cholesterol, and controls short-term energy intake, protein response and satiety (Monteyne et al. 2020Cherta-Murillo & Frost 2022). The nutritionally rich mycoproteins can replace cereals and meat. Compared with animal proteins, such as chicken breast and beef mince, mycoprotein has high fiber, vitamin B9, phosphorous, zinc, choline and less carbohydrates (Finnigan et al. 2019Bartholomai et al. 2022, Fig. 1). Mycoprotein has high saturated fat, Vitamin B12 and magnesium as compared to the plant protein tofu (Williamson et al. 2006Ruxton 2010Dunlop et al. 2017Derbyshire & Delange 2021).

Mycoprotein production has a positive effect on the environment by lowering the environmental footprint and reducing deforestation, carbon dioxide and methane emissions (Derbyshire 2022). Compared to animal and plant proteins, the production of mycoproteins requires less water, time, space and energy (Amara & Ei-Baky 2023Saeed et al. 2023). To meet food supply requirements, mycoproteins have been approved in 17 countries, and are classified by the European Commission, FDA and UK as a safe food category and are sold for public use (Finnigan et al. 2019Saeed et al. 2023). Thailand recently developed mycoprotein “vegan ground meat and ready-to-eat food” products that are ready for the market ( The current global market is 641.5 million USD (Mycoprotein – Global Strategic Business Report 2023) and is expected to reach 1100 million USD by 2030. With this in mind, future research focuses on reducing allergic reactions from new and existing mycoproteins in humans.




Figure 1  Composition of mycoprotein


Table 1  List of micro and macronutrients in wet mycoprotein



In 100 g mycoprotein


In 100 g mycoprotein


85 kcals


290 mg


11 g


76 mg


6 g


71 mg


3 g


49 mg


2.9 mg


48 mg




0.39 mg



Vitamin B6

0.1 mg




180 μg



Vitamin B9

114 μg



Vitamin B12

0.72 μg

# Collection source from Derbyshire & Delange 2021.




Figure 2  Mycoprotein benefits


Table 2 – List of fungi used for mycoprotein production.



List of species


Agaricus bisporus

Kim et al. (2011)

Agaricus subrufescens, Auricularia fuscosuccinea and Pleurotus albidus

Stoffel et al. (2019)

  1. )

Agrocybe aegerita, Pleurotus sapidus, Lentinula edodes, Stropharia rugosoannulata, Pleurotus sajor-caju and Pleurotus salmoneostramineus

Ahlborn et al. (2019)

Aspergillus oryzae 

Gamarra-Castillo (2022)

Aspergillus oryzae, Fusarium venenatum, Neurospora intermedia, Monascus purpureus and Rhizopus oryzae

Souza Filho et al. (2018)

Aureobasidium pullulans

Campbell et al. (2004)

Auricularia spp.

Amara & Ei-Baky (2023)

Flammulina velutipes

Zou et al. (2023)

Fusarium graminearum 

Trinci (1992)

Fusarium venenatum

Amara & Ei-Baky (2023)

Ganoderma lucidum


Grifola frondosa

Amara & Ei-Baky (2023)

Lepista nuda

Lee et al. (2006)

Morchella spp.

Amara & Ei-Baky (2023)

Neurospora crassa. N. intermedia and N. sitophila

Bartholomai et al. (2022)

Paecilomyces variotii 

Amara & Ei-Baky (2023)

Paradendryphiella salina

Landeta-Salgado et al. (2021)

Pleurotus eryngii

Mandliya et al. (2022)

Pleurotus flabellatus, Volvariella volvacea

Hendartina (2014)

Pleurotus ostreatus 

Papaspyridi et al. (2012)

Rhizopus oligosporus

Wikandari et al. (2023)

Schizophyllum commune

Saetang (2022)

Tremella fuciformis

Amara & Ei-Baky (2023)

Trichoderma koningii, Aspergillus ochraceus and A. terreus

Helal (2005)

Trichoderma reesei

Zaki & Said (2018)



Ahlborn J, Stephan A, Meckel T, Maheshwari G et al. 2019 – Upcycling of food industry side streams by basidiomycetes for production of a vegan protein source. International Journal of Recycling of Organic Waste in Agriculture 8, 447–455.

Amara AA, El-Baky NA. 2023 – Fungi as a source of edible proteins and animal feed. Journal of Fungi 9, 73.

Bartholomai BM, Ruwe KM, Thurston J, Jha P et al. 2022 – Safety evaluation of Neurospora crassa mycoprotein for use as a novel meat alternative and enhancer. Food and Chemical Toxicology 168, 113342.

Campbell BS, Siddique AB, McDougall BM, Seviour RJ. 2004 – Which morphological forms of the fungus Aureobasidium pullulans are responsible for pullulan production?. FEMS Microbiology Letters 232, 225–228.

Cherta-Murillo A, Frost GS. 2022 – The association of mycoprotein-based food consumption with diet quality, energy intake and non-communicable diseases’ risk in the UK adult population using the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) years 2008/2009–2016/2017: a cross-sectional study. British Journal of Nutrition 127, 1685–1694.

Derbyshire E. 2022 – Fungal-derived mycoprotein and health across the lifespan: A narrative Review. Journal of Fungi 8, 653.

Derbyshire EJ, Delange J. 2021 – Fungal protein–what is it and what is the health evidence? A systematic review focusing on mycoprotein. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 5, 581–682.

Dunlop MV, Kilroe SP, Bowtell JL, Finnigan TJ et al. 2017 – Mycoprotein represents a bioavailable and insulinotropic non-animal-derived dietary protein source: a dose–response study. British Journal of Nutrition 118, 673–685.

Fellows PJ. 2009 – Food processing technology: principles and practice. Woodhead publishing Sixth chapter, 229270.

Finnigan TJ, Wall BT, Wilde PJ, Stephens FB. 2019 – Mycoprotein: the future of nutritious nonmeat protein, a symposium review. Current Developments in Nutrition 3, nzz021.

Gamarra-Castillo O, Echeverry-Montaña N, Marbello-Santrich A, Hernández-Carrión M, Restrepo S. 2022 – Meat substitute development from fungal protein (Aspergillus oryzae). Foods. 11, 2940.

Helal GA. 2005 – Bioconversion of straw into improved fodder: Mycoprotein production and cellulolytic activity of rice straw decomposing fungi. Mycobiology 33, 90–96.

Hendartina NT. 2014 – Studies on Functional Properties of Mycoprotein from Mycelium and Fruit Body of Edible Mushrooms and Their Application for Meat Analog Development Study of The Functional Properties of Micoprotein from the mycelium and fruit bTtannia Hendartina Graduate School, Bogor Agricultural Institute Bogor. 

Kim K, Choi B, Lee I, Lee H et al. 2011 – Bioproduction of mushroom mycelium of Agaricus bisporus by commercial submerged fermentation for the production of meat analogue. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 91, 1561–1568.

Landeta-Salgado C, Cicatiello P, Lienqueo ME. 2021 – Mycoprotein and hydrophobin like protein produced from marine fungi Paradendryphiella salina in submerged fermentation with green seaweed Ulva spp. Algal Research 56, 102314.

Lee YS, Kim JB, Shin SR, Kim NW. 2006 – Analysis of nutritional components of Lepista nuda. Korean Journal of Food Preservation 13, 375–381.

Liu M, Zhang J, Ye J, Qi Q, Hou J. 2021 – Morphological and metabolic engineering of Yarrowia lipolytica to increase β-carotene production. ACS Synthetic Biology 10, 35513560.

Mandliya S, Pratap-Singh A, Vishwakarma S, Dalbhagat CG, Mishra HN. 2022 – Incorporation of mycelium (Pleurotus Eryngii) in pea protein based low moisture meat analogue: Effect on its physicochemical, rehydration and structural properties. Foods 11, 2476.

Monteyne AJ, Coelho MO, Porter C, Abdelrahman DR et al. 2020 – Branched-chain amino acid fortification does not restore muscle protein synthesis rates following ingestion of lower-compared with higher-dose mycoprotein. The Journal of Nutrition 150, 2931–2941.

Papaspyridi LM, Aligiannis N, Topakas E, Christakopoulos P et al. 2012 – Submerged fermentation of the edible mushroom Pleurotus ostreatus in a batch stirred tank bioreactor as a promising alternative for the effective production of bioactive metabolites. Molecules 1727, 14–24.

Ruxton CH, McMillan B. 2010 – The impact of mycoprotein on blood cholesterol levels: a pilot study. British Food Journal 112, 1092–1101.

Saeed F, Afzaal M, Khalid A, Shah YA et al. 2023 – Role of mycoprotein as a non-meat protein in food security and sustainability: A review. International Journal of Food Properties 26, 683–695.

Saetang N, Ramaraj R, Pumisutapon P, Unpaprom Y. 2022 – Influence of hot water treatment on alternative mycoprotein from Schizophyllum commune. In Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Renewable Energy, Sustainable Environmental & Agri-Technological and Innovation (i-RESEAT 2021), Maejo University, Chiang Mai, 1–9.

Souza Filho PF, Andersson D, Ferreira JA, Taherzadeh MJ. 2019 – Mycoprotein: environmental impact and health aspects. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology 35, 147.

Souza Filho PF, Nair RB, Andersson D, Lennartsson PR, Taherzadeh MJ. 2018 – Vegan-mycoprotein concentrate from pea-processing industry byproduct using edible filamentous fungi. Fungal Biology and Biotechnology 5, 110.

Stoffel F, de Oliveira Santana W, Gregolon JG, Kist TB et al. 2019 – Production of edible mycoprotein using agroindustrial wastes: Influence on nutritional, chemical and biological properties. Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies 58, 102227.

Trinci AP. 1992 – Myco-protein: A twenty-year overnight success story. Mycological Research 96, 1–3.

Wikandari R, Tanugraha DR, Yastanto AJ, Gmoser R, Teixeira JA. 2023 – Development of meat substitutes from filamentous fungi cultivated on residual water of tempeh factories. Molecules 28, 997.

Williamson DA, Geiselman PJ, Lovejoy J, Greenway F et al. 2006 – Effects of consuming mycoprotein, tofu or chicken upon subsequent eating behavior, hunger and safety. Appetite 46, 41–48.

Zaki M, Said SD. 2018 – Trichoderma reesei single cell protein production from rice straw pulp in solid state fermentation. InIOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering 345, 012043. IOP Publishing.

Zou Y, Yang C, Wang N, Zheng QW et al. 2023 – Development of Flammulina velutipes-based meat analogs with tunable physicochemical, structural, and sensory properties. International Journal of Food Engineering 19, 177–186.


Entry by

Niranjan Meakala, Center of Excellence in Fungal Research and School of Science, Mae Fah Luang University, Chiang Rai, 57100, Thailand.


(Edited by Kevin D Hyde & Chitrabhanu S. Bhunjun)